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Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2004 | Kenneth Reich, Times Staff Writer
A state law that requires California's 25,550 unreinforced masonry buildings to display placards warning that a major earthquake could damage them is being largely ignored, according to state records. The masonry buildings have long been considered by seismologists to be the most sensitive to earthquake damage, a point bolstered by December's 6.5-magnitude temblor in Paso Robles in which two people died when an unreinforced structure collapsed on them.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2004 | Kenneth Reich, Times Staff Writer
A state law that requires California's 25,550 unreinforced masonry buildings to display placards warning that a major earthquake could damage them is being largely ignored, according to state records. The masonry buildings have long been considered by seismologists to be the most sensitive to earthquake damage, a point bolstered by December's 6.5-magnitude temblor in Paso Robles in which two people died when an unreinforced structure collapsed on them.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1991 | PENELOPE McMILLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Inspector Scott McGill called the dilapidated three-story apartment building one of the city's "hard cases" as he walked down the bare floors of its long, narrow halls. Apart from graffiti, broken windows and leaking pipes, the building at 739 S. Coronado St. is long overdue for structural strengthening against earthquakes as required under Los Angeles law.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2004 | Kenneth Reich, Times Staff Writer
Fifteen noted California earthquake scientists say in a new report that the most important lesson of December's San Simeon earthquake is that older buildings should be seismically retrofitted. In Paso Robles, where the most serious damage occurred in the magnitude 6.5 temblor, none of the unreinforced masonry buildings that had been retrofitted collapsed, the scientists pointed out. A building that had not been retrofitted did collapse, resulting in the quake's only two fatalities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 1989 | PENELOPE McMILLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Earthquake safety repairs have been completed or are under way on more than 1,000 of Los Angeles' 1,657 brick apartment buildings and residential hotels, officials of the city's Department of Building and Safety said Monday. Earl Schwartz, the department's executive officer, told the City Council's Community Redevelopment and Housing Committee that owners of only 440 of the buildings, with about 12,000 units, had not started any work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council heard public testimony Monday on two proposed ordinances requiring downtown landlords to strengthen unreinforced masonry buildings. Council members voted 7 to 0 to set a formal public hearing on the ordinances for Nov. 18, but held an impromptu hearing at which critics of the ordinances lambasted the council. Several critics attacked the inch-thick environmental report, which city-hired engineers wrote explaining the ordinances.
NEWS
July 26, 1990
The City Council on Tuesday announced that $30,000 in Community Development Block Grant money is available to help about 60 property owners in the downtown business district pay for seismic safety studies on unreinforced masonry buildings. The studies are mandatory under the provisions of a new building ordinance adopted last December. The city building inspector has identified 63 unreinforced masonry buildings in need of earthquake safety repairs, City Manager Jim McRea said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 1989
Possibly as many as 19 unreinforced masonry buildings will have to be reinforced or demolished under an ordinance tentatively approved Tuesday by the City Council. The old one- and two-story buildings are scattered mostly along the periphery of the downtown area, City Engineer John Quan said Monday after inspecting some of the buildings. Most of the city's unreinforced masonry buildings were torn down during 1977-78 redevelopment projects, Quan said.
NEWS
April 28, 1988
The Maywood City Council has approved an ordinance to block people from moving back into earthquake-damaged unreinforced masonry buildings unless the structures are in compliance with the city's earthquake code. The ordinance will not force the eviction of any residents or businesses since the law applies only to vacant buildings, said Linda Dovalis, planning and building assistant. Four Maywood buildings will be affected by the ordinance, she said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 1987
The streets of the Uptown Whittier shopping district, closed to vehicular traffic Oct. 4 because of earthquake damage, were scheduled to reopen today. The area was reopened to pedestrians last week. City Manager Thomas G. Mauk said six to eight unreinforced masonry buildings are in the final stages of demolition, with another seven to go. Fences and pedestrian walkways have been erected around some buildings while demolition continues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 1994 | PEGGY Y. LEE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The devastation in the city of Fillmore from this week's earthquake underscored the need for more stringent laws in Ventura County regarding unreinforced masonry buildings, officials said Tuesday. Ninety percent of the 64 unreinforced masonry buildings in Fillmore's downtown district were destroyed or heavily damaged in the 6.6 temblor, city officials said. Unreinforced masonry buildings--usually referring to brick structures--are considered unsafe to be in or near during a major earthquake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council heard public testimony Monday on two proposed ordinances requiring downtown landlords to strengthen unreinforced masonry buildings. Council members voted 7 to 0 to set a formal public hearing on the ordinances for Nov. 18, but held an impromptu hearing at which critics of the ordinances lambasted the council. Several critics attacked the inch-thick environmental report, which city-hired engineers wrote explaining the ordinances.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1991 | PENELOPE McMILLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Inspector Scott McGill called the dilapidated three-story apartment building one of the city's "hard cases" as he walked down the bare floors of its long, narrow halls. Apart from graffiti, broken windows and leaking pipes, the building at 739 S. Coronado St. is long overdue for structural strengthening against earthquakes as required under Los Angeles law.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 1991
Bill Zwirn, our tenant in the brick building that he complains about ("Retailer Says City Neglects Downtown Quake Safety, Dec. 28), is simply misinformed, as are most Venturans, about the "earthquake-proofing" of unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs). He seems to think reinforcing will save it when the Big One hits. The fact is no kind of building now existing can efficiently be made any safer against a major quake than it already is. The proposed retrofit ordinance for Ventura's older brick structures aims only at saving lives in a moderate quake--up to 6.8 Richter magnitude, often called "a 100-year return.
NEWS
July 26, 1990
The City Council on Tuesday announced that $30,000 in Community Development Block Grant money is available to help about 60 property owners in the downtown business district pay for seismic safety studies on unreinforced masonry buildings. The studies are mandatory under the provisions of a new building ordinance adopted last December. The city building inspector has identified 63 unreinforced masonry buildings in need of earthquake safety repairs, City Manager Jim McRea said.
NEWS
January 18, 1990 | IRENE CHANG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Less than half of the 29 cities in the San Gabriel Valley have met a state deadline for complying with an earthquake safety law to make unreinforced masonry buildings less hazardous. The number, included in a report released last week by the state Seismic Safety Commission, reflects a 43% compliance rate statewide. The number would have been lower had people not been jolted into awareness by the Oct. 17 Bay Area earthquake, building experts said.
NEWS
January 12, 1990 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
More than half of the cities in the most earthquake-prone parts of California have failed to complete the first steps toward upgrading their most dangerous masonry buildings, a Seismic Safety Commission report released Thursday showed. "Our lives are threatened by these buildings, and cities that have ignored the law or that have adopted ineffective programs are simply letting us down," Commission Director L. Thomas Tobin said in a statement Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2004 | Kenneth Reich, Times Staff Writer
Fifteen noted California earthquake scientists say in a new report that the most important lesson of December's San Simeon earthquake is that older buildings should be seismically retrofitted. In Paso Robles, where the most serious damage occurred in the magnitude 6.5 temblor, none of the unreinforced masonry buildings that had been retrofitted collapsed, the scientists pointed out. A building that had not been retrofitted did collapse, resulting in the quake's only two fatalities.
NEWS
January 12, 1990 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
More than half of the cities in the most earthquake-prone parts of California have failed to complete the first steps toward upgrading their most dangerous masonry buildings, a Seismic Safety Commission report released Thursday showed. "Our lives are threatened by these buildings, and cities that have ignored the law or that have adopted ineffective programs are simply letting us down," Commission Director L. Thomas Tobin said in a statement Thursday.
NEWS
January 12, 1990 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
More than half of the cities in the most earthquake-prone parts of California have failed to complete the first steps toward upgrading their most dangerous masonry buildings, a Seismic Safety Commission report released Thursday showed. "Our lives are threatened by these buildings, and cities that have ignored the law or that have adopted ineffective programs are simply letting us down," Commission Director L. Thomas Tobin said in a statement Thursday.
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